Danny Eugene Bowman, 56, of Deer Creek, has been charged with abandoning or endangering a child, a second-degree felony, in relation to the death of a 9-year-old at his residence Friday afternoon.
The child has been identified as Daniel Wiley of Harrisburg, Ill. Wiley is Bowman’s grandson. The weapon was a 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun. The incident occurred in the 3200 block of Whitaker Road, at the intersection of FM 1882.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Bowman had left his two grandsons, Wiley and his 13-year-old stepbrother, at home with his mother-in-law, Shirley Crump, while he drove to Scotland to purchase beer. Crump, 76, is described in the affidavit as “barely ambulatory.”
The shooting was reported at 6:27 p.m. Aug. 2. When a Clay County deputy arrived on scene, Wiley’s body was found lying on the ground outside of the Bowman home. EMT’s on scene determined the death to have been caused by a gunshot wound.
The shooting, which investigators believe to have been accidental, happened while Bowman was away.
Bowman told investigators that the shotgun was kept unsecured and loaded with three rounds in the living room of the house. The gun was located by law enforcement in the living room with two rounds — one in the chamber. A spent round was located outside the home.
The 13-year-old boy told investigators that after Bowman left, he took the shotgun outside and to the back of the property. The boy said the gun was dropped as he handed it to Wiley. When the 13-year-old picked up the gun, it discharged one round, striking Wylie in the face.
Wiley’s stepbrother said he took the shotgun back into the house and returned it to the living room.
According to the affidavit, when first responders, EMT’s and law enforcement arrived Bowman was acting belligerent and drinking beer, and continued to do so through the course of the investigation.
Bowman remains in the Clay County Jail with bond set at $50,000.
Editor’s note: The Pioneer Sentinel first reported that the 13-year-old boy was a cousin to Wiley, which has been corrected in this and related articles.